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Bowmen runners pick up the pace at state

Cody Thompson and the Lady Bowmen all run well


EUGENE — For those who follow the Sherwood High School cross country program, it should come as no surprise that seven Lady Bowmen ran in Saturday’s Class 5A State Championships at Lane Community College.

After all, it was the 10th consecutive year that Sherwood’s girls’ team qualified for state.

Led by freshman Haley Howe’s 33rd-place finish in the 5,000-meter race, the Lady Bowmen finished eighth out of 12 teams Saturday.by: JONATHAN HOUSE - UPHILL TREK -- Freshman Haley Howe leads a pack of Sherwood runners up a hill during Saturday's state cross country championships.

What could come as a bit of a surprise, however, is that the day didn’t end for Sherwood at the conclusion of the girls race. For the first time since 2007, Sherwood was represented in the boys race.

Sherwood senior Cody Thompson, who qualified for state by placing third at the Northwest Oregon Conference district championships after finishing 42nd at district last year, ran to a 15th-place finish with a time of 16 minutes and 36 seconds Saturday.

Thompson accomplished his goal of breaking the school state meet record of 16 minutes and 47 seconds in a meet he admits he never dreamed of running in.

“I never thought I’d even get this fast until last year when I trained over the summer,” Thompson said. “I had some crazy PRs (personal records), then just found myself here. It’s kind of insane.”

Thompson said he was a little bit stressed before the race “because of all the people,” but his finish indicates he was able to block all that out when he needed to.

“I was going to try and keep in the top 10 to 12, but I fell behind in the second mile and had to gain some ground the last 800 (meters),” Thompson said. “I passed four or five people and was able to finish 15th.”

The Lady Bowmen, who finished with 213 points, ran for the most part how they usually do at the state meet — in the middle of the pack, together.by: JONATHAN HOUSE - STRIDING OUT -- Sherwood senior Cody Thompson hits his stride during the Class 5A state cross country championships.

“That’s our strategy, everyone stays together,” said senior Devon Greene, who finished third for the Lady Bowmen and 55th overall at 21:39. “Staying together keeps us motivated, but we usually have one or two girls who go out in front.”

Saturday, that girl was Howe, who crossed the finish line in 20:52.

“This was the (meet) I was most nervous about, but I kind of ran my nerves off at the beginning,” Howe said.

“As a freshman she’s insane,” Greene said of Howe. “I’m so proud of her. She’s already sub-20 (minutes). She’ll be strong until she’s a senior, she’s a good runner.”

Greene, who was the top finisher on last year’s state team, which finished 10th overall, said this year’s experience topped last year’s.

“I don’t think I was as nervous this year, and team-wise, I feel like I had more fun this year,” Greene said. “I feel like our team this year was closer, better friends than last year.”

Senior Kelsey Niebergall was the second Sherwood girl to finish, placing 45th overall with a time of 21:54. Also for Sherwood, sophomore Avery Rosenbalm was 56th at 21:45, sophomore Madison Budge was 59th at 21:59, sophomore Molly Fettig was 66th at 22:16 and sophomore Bridgett Palmer was 73rd at 22:51.



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